Welcome to our Multipassionate Muse interview series, where we chat with self-described multipotentialites. Need a multipassionate crash course? Take a look on our terminology page and take the multipassionate quiz!
Today we’re talking to Jaclyn Mullen, a performing artist turned entrepreneur who considers herself a bootstrapper, a connector, a marketer, and a soul searcher.
Describe your various passions and projects for us
I love how I can use two of my favorite words in this answer: “various” and “projects.” First and foremost, my nickname/alias/whatever you want to call it has become “The Jaclyn of All Trades.” Day to day, I am a soloprenuer specializing in content creation and community building online. Some people would categorize that as social media while I like to define it a bit deeper. I am the voice & content creator for all of the brands that I manage/oversee. My job isn’t as easy as getting people solely to “Like our Facebook page," I really have to understand who we are targeting, what their interests are and I have to create/encourage brand loyalty and often awareness through the use of content that people will truly care about. These tasks are all done through my company, JaclynMullenMedia.com.
Then we have my performing artist alter ego. I grew up singing and dancing so from time to time I take stand up comedy classes and perform or I host events in LA (mainly Pamper Me Fabulous or social media & female entrepreneurship inspired events). I am also an active philanthropist—giving back is another passion of mine. I serve on the Marketing Committee for Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles and I also belong to Step Up Women’s Network—a 501(c)(3) that supports underserved girls.
Editor's note: we also support Habitat for Humanity!
Last but not least, I love to write, speak, mentor and teach so I am working on my brand and business called Startups and Stilettos™ which will help women bootstrap their businesses, save the world and still make time for the spa through in person and online workshops, an e-book and whatever else may unfold. In December of 2012, I built and launched a 4-week workshop centered around these very topics called “S & S You Camp." I hope to launch it formally to more women in the fall of 2013.
Where did you find hear the term multipotentialite/multipassionista? Did they immediately resonate with you?
The first time I actually heard a term or word to describe what I always knew to be my personality- multipassionista aka mogul- was in a blog post or video of Marie Forleo’s and that wasn’t too long ago- maybe a year ago. Considering I grew up in the performing arts but was also working by ninth grade and active in the marketing club, the term definitely resonated with me! It finally gave me the courage to accept and embrace my talents and sprinkle them within my business. Almost any single mogul you observe in our day and age can be considered multipassionate!
Looking back, would you say you've always been a multipotentialite (were you that kid running multiple businesses from your front yard?!)?
Oh yeah! I have always been curious by nature. As a performer, I think you are predisposed to being open to a number of ways to experience things. You explore a wide range of music genres, you may act, sing, dance. I grew up playing sports, participating in Girl Scouts, performing in plays- you name it, I did it! I distinctively remember when my father first purchased a VHS recorder and I would have him film me making infomercials! I was nine or ten. I was destined to deal with people, to explore different cultures and industries and topics! My mom’s parents were also a huge influence on me. They were Armenian by heritage, Romanian by nationality; they were jewelers, my grandmother sang, she sewed, my grandfather coached and played soccer. See where this is going? It’s in my genes!
What is the biggest challenge of being a multipotentialite?
I would say the biggest challenge of being a multipotentialite is that we are generally good multi-taskers/jugglers. Where that becomes an issue is in our inability to focus on one thing 100% because we get bored, impatient or just drawn to other things. I often have wondered where my business, brand and blog would be if I solely focused on cultivating and growing each of them without also taking on client work. However, my brand and business led me to this site, it led me to my clients and many friends and it’s opened up so many doors that I know everything will continue to unfold in due time.
In general, I see a lot of multipotentialite people give up way too soon! You can be multipassionate but you also have to be a multi-commitmentite too! It’s also a challenge for some multipotentialite people to be structured. Any sense of routine seems too predictable, confining and limiting. I knew that was a weakness of mine so I am strict about my working hours—there is no “flex” time for me from Monday through Thursday. I work for my clients from 9 to 5/6 so that I have daily consistency. I do allow myself to have Friday as a flex day where I can work on my projects.
What parts of living a multipotentialite lifestyle are the most rewarding?
Creation, creation, creation. No matter what it is I am working on, I am enhancing something, improving something, building something that never existed before or learning something. I can honestly say every day is an adventure for me because the possibilities and outcomes are endless. Another huge reward is utilizing my talents in various ways. I used to write song lyrics, now I write tweets and Facebook status updates! As much as I am a singer and dancer, I am visual too so I can put together photos for a brand based upon look and feel. I have really honed in on using my intuition and always going with my gut, which is empowering. There is also a freedom that comes along with exploring different industries, businesses, and brands. I often say I never have to leave my apartment because that’s how dynamic each day is! I have the world at my fingertips daily and I can’t say that would be the same if I only worked on one thing every single day.
We hear a lot these days about side hustles, solopreneurs, and multipotentialites. Do you think it's a fad or the way of the future?
As a solopreneur, I can assure you I don’t think it’s a fad at all. The more and more people I talk to, the more they share either a side hustle opportunity they are exploring or they ask me advice on tying all the elements of their passions and personality into a cohesive brand. The internet has opened up a huge stage for people to showcase how diverse their skill sets and talents are. I also think the internet has encouraged us to learn more technical skills than ever before so naturally people start uncovering more and more areas of themselves that they hadn’t known existed. Those areas- specifically tech, mobile phone usage, content creation- become passions!
Any words of wisdom/warning for other multipotentialites?
I would encourage multipotenialites to be easy on themselves. It can take some time to really, truly genuinely figure out what you want as a part of your income earning day-to-day activities versus what you want to pursue just to keep you from feeling bored with life. When I first started out, I was a blogger, a freelancer, an event marketer, a speaker and I loved fashion and music and entrepreneurship. It’s taken me close to 5-6 years of personal development, soul searching and a process of elimination to finally create a hybrid business that utilizes my passions and talents and allows me to make money without feeling drained every day. Transformation doesn’t happen over night! Back when I was doing background acting work in LA, I learned that the hours were longer than my corporate job and you did a lot of waiting around. I decided waiting around was not the pace for me. I am go, go, go. So by process of elimination, patience and a willingness to try TV acting, I found out it wasn’t for me and that I am much better suited in the digital arena where I can create the content. I have worked in real estate, HR Consulting, radio, online media, and stand up comedy. I would advise people to keep an open mind and explore the things you are curious about while also remembering that time flies by so you will want to corral a few of your talents into one arena to earn a living for yourself and make money so you can enjoy your life and celebrate the results and efforts from all your hard work! As an entrepreneur, I am big on the “make sure you are making money” aspect of this because I personally missed out on this in my twenties! And when you’re past your twenties, hindsight is 20-20 (I’m only two years past but still) 🙂
Questions for Jaclyn? Leave them in the comments!
P.S. Loved Jaclyn's insights on being multipassionate? Share this interview on Twitter!